Newsletter No 8




Many of us grew up reading fairy tales which often portray knights in shining armour and princesses in their castles or fortresses. For those who are now interested in the actual life during the medieval period within the walls, there is a new exhibition at MAH in Geneva on Fortresses and Knights (more details in the events section).  

In the spirit of this exhibition, it is worth exploring the Fortresses in Turkey, which according to Faruk Pekin, the author of “100 Kale” (one hundred fortresses), amount well over a hundred, and indeed number in the thousands! The foundations of some of them date as far back as to Hittites, and include those first built by Ancient Greeks, Romans, Seljuks and Ottomans. According to Pekin, there is a fortress in almost every village of Anatolia. Many of them are in ruins, but quite a few are still very beautiful. Among the lesser known yet imposing ones are Kilitbahir (built by Fatih Sultan), Gaziantep, Anavarza, Hartup, Yılan Kale and Kızkalesi (for a peak to the pictures of these fortresses we have linked here to an old article from Sabah).

We wish you a lovely Festive Season and a wonderful 2017!


Please keep us posted on events and news that you would like to share at



Association Events

Happy Hour – December 14 from 18h
Planet Caviar, Geneva

Please join us for the last Happy Hour of the year!

Fondue Night – January 25 from 19h30

Our annual fondue night is quite popular and places are limited. Make sure to sign up early!!

For future Association events :


Lecture: “Ode to Rice Pilaf” by Nazlı Pişkin – December 6 at 15h

YESAM, Cağaloğlu, Istanbul

Nazlı Pişkin is a magazine editor on food and history of food. She wrote from spices to ayran and festive food in the Ottoman period.


XII. Swiss – Turkish Economic Forum – December 7

Bosphorus Hotel, Istanbul

This year's topic is "Digital Change in Life Sciences". The forum will hold sessions on “Bringing Genomic Medicine into the Clinic” and “Digital Transformation in Health Sciences” as well as a panel discussion on “Does Digitalization surpass Biology in Biotechnology?”.

For more information


10th  Annual Travel Turkey Tourism Fair and Congress – December 8-11

This year’s event will have a special focus on health tourism. Last year nearly thirty four thousand participants had come from 64 countries.

For more information


3rd Annual “Switzerland - Turkey Friendship Concert” – December 9 at 20h30
AASSM Concert Hall, Izmir

The Izmir State Symphony Orchestra will be conducted by Swiss Maestro, Mr . Roman Brogli - Sacher, who is the Chief Conductor of the Jiangsu Symphonic Orchestra in Nanjing, China as well as of the Youth Orchestra Zuerichsee in Switzerland . The event is organized jointly by the İzmir State Symphony Orchestra and the Honorary Consulate of Switzerland in İzmir.

Please confirm your participation at + 90 232 479 13 00


UNICEF’s 70th Anniversary Photography Exhibition – until December 31st
CerModern, Ankara

Every year on November 20, Unicef celebrates child rights. In celebration of this special 70th anniversary, a photography exhibition with 70 photos of children by renowned artists will be displayed at Cermodern.

For details:


Photographic exhibition “Longing” by Swiss Robert Huber – until January 27

Studio-X, Istanbul

Longing is an exhibition on hopes, dreams and realities that are peculiar to Istanbul by German video journalist Gunnar K ö hne and Swiss photographer Robert Huber, documented through their decades - long interaction with this city . Both K ö hne and Huber portray social and cultural fractures, at times giving voice to the unexpected which characterizes many cities within Istanbul . The exhibition is financed by Swiss Art Foundation Pro Helvetia and sponsored by the Consulate General.


Exhibition “Chateaux Forts et Chevaliers” – Until February 19

Musée d’art et d’histoire, Geneva

The exhibition focuses on the 14th century interior decors of fortresses in the region of Geneva and Savoie. There are many events including guided tours, story telling and concerts organised for this exhibition.

For more information on the exhibition and the events



We Welcome New Turkish Ambassadors

Turkish Foreign Ministry appointed diplomats Ilhan Saygılı as Turkey’s new Ambassador to Switzerland, to be based in Bern, Naci Koru as Turkey’s new Ambassador to the UN and Kemal Madenoğlu as Turkey’s new Ambassador to WTO.

We warmly welcome them to their new missions.   


Librairie Bernard Letu


Our dear member Bernard Letu has many book ideas for the end of year presents. His latest selection can be found in Librairie Bernard Letu Newsletter by clicking on the link and going forward do not hesitate to Sign-up for the Newsletter.



Lucerne Festival Strings Concert Took Place at the Bosphorus University in Istanbul

The Lucerne Festival Strings is one of the most distinguished chamber orchestras in Europe and has ranked for 60 years now as the leading chamber orchestra of Central Switzerland . The ensemble will held its second concert at Bogaziçi University’s Albert Long Hall .


Official Visit to Turkey by Parliamentary Delegation of the Swiss Council of States

Last month, a delegation consisting of six members of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Swiss Council of States (the Swiss Upper House) held meetings in Ankara and Istanbul. For the occasion, , the Swiss Consul General, together with the President of the Swiss Chamber of Commerce, hosted a joint working lunch for the CEOs of Swiss Companies in Turkey to discuss with the parliamentarians the current economic situation and means of reinforcing Swiss - Turkish cooperation .


Swiss Film “The Day the Sun Fell” won the 2nd Prize at Bozcaada International Festival of Ecological Documentary

Swiss Documentary by Aya Domenig “The Day the Sun Fell” was chosen because of its unique and refreshing personal approach to a universal subject ; because of how it gently and sensitively takes a story from the past and connects it to the present in a critical way, because of how successfully it incorporates archival material into the storytelling . The Consulate General was present at the award ceremony and had the honour to receive the trophy on behalf of the director.


Italian Language Week in Istanbul

This year’s Italian language festival saw two magnificent events from the Canton of Ticino, sponsored by the Consulate General within the same week . It kicked off with world famous architect from Canton Ticino Fabio Reinhart, who was introduced to the public by the Consul General of Switzerland and who held a well - attended conference on Swiss architecture . The following event was a moving Swiss film about immigration set in Canton Ticino.


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Pursuing Knowledge, Scientific Instruments, Manuscripts and Prints from Istanbul University Collections
Bayezid II Museum of Turkish Hamam Culture, Beyazit
Ending December 26

Gaye Su Akyol & Bubituzak
Salon IKSV, Şişhane
Friday, December 16, 10pm

Mascarade: Mask-making Workshop
Circuit, Kadıköy
November 29 – December 17

People Attract People: The Adventure of Humanity in the Photography of Turkey
Istanbul Modern, Karaköy,
Ending December 18

There was a world, once, you punk
Blok Art Space, Çukurcuma
Ending January 6

On The Fringe: The Istanbul Land Walls
ANAMED, Istiklal Caddesi
Ending January 2

Who Throws Whom Overboard?
SALT Galata
Ending January 15

Edward Burtynsky: Aqua Shock
Borusan Contemporary, Rumelihisarı
Ending February 19


The South Agora of Aphrodisias
A talk by Professor Andrew Wilson
Daunt Books, London, UK
Monday, November 28, 7pm
Read the related blog post:

Turkey: From the Research Folder
An Anglo-Turkish Society talk with Barbara Nadel
Royal Anthropological Institute, London, UK
Thursday, December 1, 6:30pm

Orpheus with Fazıl Say
Carnegie Hall, New York, NY
Saturday, December 3, 7pm

Anatolian Travels
Arkas Art Centre, Izmir, Turkey
Ending December 18

The Word Illuminated: Form and Function of Qur’anic Manuscripts
The Turkish Embassy, USA, and Sackler Gallery, Washington DC
December 1–3

Woven Paradise
A journey through the Anatolian textile craft of the 18th and 19th centuries
Studio Bumiller, Berlin, Germany
Ending December 3

Manuscripts in the Making: Art and Science
Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
December 8–10

Damascus Tiles: Some Enduring Questions
A talk by Arthur Millner
Royal Asiatic Society, London, UK
Thursday, December 8, 6pm

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